On the slopes of Monte Ermada is a karst cave already used during the Neolithic period and adapted in Roman times (from the 2nd to the 5th century A.D.) to the place of worship of god Mithras. Mithraism is a salvific religion (i.e. based on the continuation of an individual's life after death) of Persian origin and is linked to the figure of a young man sacrificing a bull in honour of the Sun god. This scene is represented in two reliefs In limestone found inside the cave, along with a large number of coins and lamps left by the faithful as votive offerings. Some of those making offerings were named in the inscriptions found here, which, like the reliefs on display, are actually casts. The location of the place of worship is very close to the springs of the Timavo river where, in Roman times, the water course was the object of worship of Diomedes and Saturn, in relation to which there was a temple at the site of the present church of St. Giovanni in Tuba.
The archaeological site is of particular interest because it represents one of the few Mithraic temples in Italy located in a natural cavity, but also for the archeological finds that emerged which testify to the continuity of use, albeit with different functions, from the Neolithic through to the 5th century. A.D.
Not to be missed
1. Cast of the stele devoted to the cult of the god Mithras by Aulo Tullio Paumniano, depicting the god Mithras while killing the primordial bull;
2. Votive lamps with the names of the donors;
3. Stone benches for the celebration of worship.
- Guided visit languages: Italian, English
- Tour languages: Italian